Construction has started on a $3 billion chemical manufacturing project in Lake Charles, La.
LACC LLC, a joint venture of Lotte Chemical and Axiall Corp., will build a $1.9 billion ethane cracker complex near Axiall’s existing manufacturing plants in Calcasieu Parish. Using a portion of ethylene produced by that plant, Lotte Chemical will produce monoethylene glycol at a $1.1 billion plant constructed beside the ethane cracker.
Both projects will create 215 new direct jobs, with the ethane cracker producing 135 jobs with an average annual salary of $75,500, plus benefits, and the monoethylene glycol facility producing 80 jobs paying $87,000, plus benefits. The site is on 250 acres near the junction of Highway 10 and 210 in Lake Charles.
Axiall will use its portion of the ethylene output to make vinyl chloride monomer, a precursor to plastics, and other products, such as caustic soda, chlorine and ethylene dichloride.
Lotte Chemical will make monoethylene glycol, commonly called MEG, which is an important ingredient in the making of paper, textile fibers, latex paints, asphalt, resins, antifreeze, coolants and adhesives. It is expected to be the largest MEG plant in the U.S. This is the first such project by a Korean petrochemical company in the U.S.
Upon completion of the MEG plant, Lotte plans to produce 700,000 tons per year of that product, chiefly for export to customers abroad. The ethane cracker is designed for an annual capacity of 1 million tons to be shared equally by the two companies.
Axiall will retain 1,600 existing workers in the Lake Charles area, and the company estimates 3,000 construction jobs will be created at peak building activity for the new plants.
Both plants are expected to begin operating in 2019.
Axiall Corporation is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Lotte Chemical, a part of Lotte Group in South Korea operates ethylene and mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) production facilities throughout Asia. LACC and Lotte's MEG plant will be located essentially adjacent to Axiall's existing Lake Charles facilities.